On this 5th anniversary of the devastating Citizens United decision by the Supreme Court, activists across the US are protesting this week against unlimited corporate influence in elections.
It is also National Call In Day to let Congress know we don’t want the Trans-Pacific Partnership fast-tracked – expected to be introduced in Congress in the next few weeks.
On Citizens United
Find an Action near you. Today, "Funeral marches" for our democracy are being held in Los Angeles and San Francisco, starting at 4PM PST, for example.
16 states, 600 cities and towns, and more than 4.5 million individuals have officially called for a constitutional amendment overturning the decision.
More than 130 organizations signed a statement on principles that would get money out of politics – Unity Statement of Principles.
Measures Congress could pass to mitigate the problem:
1. Democracy for All Amendment: Provides Congress and the states with the authority to determine reasonable regulations on campaign financing and distinguish between natural persons and other artificial entities under campaign finance laws. Key sponsors: Sens. Udall, Sanders, Tester/Reps. Deutch, Edwards, McGovern.
2. DISCLOSE Act: Requires disclosure of all campaign spending – 120 days before the primary for presidential elections. Key sponsors: Sen. Whitehouse/Rep. Van Hollen.
3. Empowering small donors and increasing political participation: Matching public funds for small dollar contributions, and various other provisions. "Government by the People Act" (congressional elections), key sponsor: Rep. Sarbanes. "Empowering Citizens Act" (congressional and presidential elections), key sponsor: Rep. Price. "Fair Elections Now Act" (congressional elections), key sponsor: Sen. Durbin.
4. Prohibit campaign coordination: Clarifies the definition of "coordination" to include the close relationships and ties between a candidate and outside group or super PAC. Key sponsors: Sen. Tester/Rep. Price.
5. Real Time Transparency Act: Requires all political committees, including joint fundraising committees, to disclose electronically within 48 hours all cumulative contributions of $1,000 or more in a calendar year. Key sponsors: Sen. King/Rep. O’Rourke.
6. Sunlight for Unaccountable Nonprofits Act (SUN Act): Makes public the donors who give more than $5,000 to tax-exempt groups that engage in election activities. Key sponsor: Sen. Tester.
7. Shareholder Protection Act: Requires corporations to disclose to shareholders and the public spending of funds for independent expenditures and electioneering communications, even if such spending is indirectly done through a third party. Key sponsors: Sen. Menendez/Rep. Capuano.
National Call In Day for Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)
Vietnam is the leading partner where the average wage is $0.75 cents an hour, and there are no labor, environmental or consumer protections. Is that want we want for the US? That’s what multinationals are negotiating for – to be able to sue if there isn’t a level playing field.
If you would like to call your representatives: either call 888-804-8311 and ask for your reps, or go to www.stopfasttrack.com, log in and enter your phone number. An auto-dialer will call you and connect you to your Rep and Senators, one at a time.
Or you can email them here, where there’s a summary of the issue.
On Monday, January 26, there will be a protest in New York City, when Trans-Pacific Partnership negotiators will converge for a near-final round of talks. Sign up here if you can be there.
You can watch Koch Brothers Exposed for free on youtube – Brave New Films gift for the Citizens United anniversary: